Heroin Addiction

Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is still an active epidemic. Many people believe it is a thing of the past but more than half a million people use heroin each year and nearly 4 million people report having used heroin at least once in their lives!

Heroin is a dangerous narcotic and is usually injected, snorted or smoked to produce a euphoric state. It is highly addictive and the way an addict chooses to ingest it is of no consequence on its potential for being highly physically addictive. Physical addiction can begin immediately with the first use, while some addicts will become physically and psychologically dependent over time, but not too much time! Either way, heroin addiction can be very dangerous and difficult to treat. There is help for heroin addiction and knowing the signs and symptoms is extremely important.


What Are the Effects of Using Heroin?


The effects of heroin take place immediately after use and continue for a period of a few hours. After the first effects, heroin users will feel sleepy and have decreased mental function for several hours following heroin use.


  • Constricted pupils
  • Dry or “cotton” mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness/Nodding off
  • Difficulty coughing
  • Strenuous breathing
  • Limbs feel heavy and weighted down
  • Itching
  • Reduced anxiety


Signs of Heroin Addiction


If you suspect that a friend, family member or loved one is using heroin, there are definite signs to watch for.


  • Fatigue followed by periods of alertness
  • Strenuous or shallow breathing
  • Injection wounds, track marks, needle marks on arms, between toes
  • Infections on the skin from injections, boils
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Small, constricted pupils
  • Looking “spaced out,” gazing into the distance
  • Lack of motivation
  • Isolating from friends, family members and loved ones
  • Hanging out with a new group of people whom are kept secret
  • Disorientation
  • Poor motor function
  • Miscommunication, trouble speaking, slurring speech
  • Lack of memory, forgetting things or not remembering important events or matters
  • Long, droopy, heavy extremities, moving slowly
  • Lack of interest in the future or what comes next
  • Unkempt self-image, lack of hygiene or taking care of one’s self


Why Do Addicts Use Opiates?


Heroin produces a sense of wellbeing or euphoria that is highly addicting. Heroin use removes both physical and emotional pain while under its effects. However, it is very easy to develop a tolerance to heroin, so the addict has to use more and more to get the same quality of euphoric feeling. Tolerance can lead to addiction, especially because the tolerance to the euphoric effect develops faster than the tolerance to the dangerous effects. This results in frequent accidental overdose as addicts attempt to get a higher high and increases their heroin intake.


Heroin addiction is one of the nastiest drug addictions of all time and causes physical and psychological impairments, an unmanageable life for the addict and the family and in some cases, death.


Reach Out to Us


New Life House recovery community specializes in helping young men achieve sobriety. We teach house members how to acknowledge and deal with the real issues behind their drug use and negative behaviors. By providing age-specific homes, New Life House creates a positive, supportive peer group that is based on respect, honesty, integrity, and empathy. Ultimately, New Life House teaches its house members how to live responsible, mature, productive, and sober lives. If you have any inquiries, have a son struggling with drug abuse, or just need someone to talk about drug abuse or recovery, please reach out to us at 888-357-7577.